Rankings and other measures of excellence

Overall UC Berkeley rankings can be found here.

U.S. News and World Report

The new “Best Global Universities Rankings” of U.S. News & World Report placed UC Berkeley fourth in the world. Only Stanford, Harvard and MIT ranked higher.

Berkeley starred as the top U.S. public university in U.S. News’s “Top Public Universities Rankings.”

In the new rankings, Berkeley’s graduate programs placed first in the world in chemistry, computer science, English, history, public policy, and sociology; second in psychology, statistics, and physics; and third in engineering, earth sciences, math, and social welfare. Seven other subject areas ranked in the top 10.

Place Subjects
1st Chemistry, Computer Science, English, History, Public Policy, and Sociology
2nd Psychology, Statistics, and Physics
3rd Engineering, Earth Sciences, Math, and Social Welfare
4th Biological Sciences
5th Economics
6th Political Science
7th Business
8th Law, Public Affairs
9th Public Health

Academic Rankings of World Universities

UC Berkeley is again ranked the top public university in the world and fourth overall (following Harvard, Stanford, and MIT) in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

The global ranking of universities, published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, focuses on quality of faculty and research. In the five broad academic fields ranked, Berkeley placed first in the area of natural sciences and mathematics, and in the top five in the areas of engineering/technology, computer sciences, and social sciences.

Among five specific subjects ranked, Berkeley took first place in physics and chemistry, and placed in the top five in mathematics, computer science, and economics/business.

Berkeley has ranked among the top four institutions every year since 2003, the year the ARWU rankings debuted. More than 1,200 universities are ranked by ARWU every year.

The 2015 rankings noted this about Berkeley: “Its faculty include seven Nobel laureates, 140 members in the National Academy of Sciences, 77 Faculty Fulbright Scholars, and 235 fellows in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In national surveys, Berkeley’s academic departments consistently rank among the top five in the country.”

Berkeley Shines in the ‘Times Higher Ed’ Reputation Rankings

The Times Higher Education has recognized UC Berkeley as one of the “elite six” world universities in its 2015 reputation rankings. This is the fifth year of these reputation rankings, and Berkeley has placed in the “elite six” every year, along with Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford and Stanford.

The rankings are based on a survey of more than 10,000 academics worldwide. Berkeley ranked sixth with a score of 60, far ahead of the next ranked university, Princeton, which scored 35.

National Research Council

The National Research Council (NRC) has found that Berkeley continues to be one of the nation’s most preeminent universities for doctoral studies. In the latest study, Berkeley had the highest number of top-ranked doctoral programs in the nation, based on a regression analysis involving 20 criteria from more than 5,000 programs at 212 institutions.

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top ten

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 48 of 52
2 Harvard 47 of 52
3 Stanford 40 of 47

Number of programs ranked within a range that extends into the top five

Rank University Number of Programs
1 University of California, Berkeley 43
2 Harvard 40
3 Stanford 30

Number of programs assigned an upper range of first place

Rank University Number of Programs
1 Harvard 19
2 University of California, Berkeley 16
3 Stanford 11

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (cumulative 2004-2013)

Rank University Total
1 University of California, Berkeley 1,298
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1,133
3 Stanford University 1,052
4 Harvard University 751
5 University of Michigan 510
6 University of Washington 410
7 Cornell University 361
8 Princeton University 301
9 Georgia Institute of Technology 271
10 California Institute of Technology 265

Counts represent the number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award offers to students who indicated each institution as their first choice for graduate school during the period 2004-2013, from the total 13,587 awards made during the 10-year period. The metric shows the choices of the nation’s top science and engineering graduate students, reflecting which institutions they believe offer them the best graduate research opportunities.

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships (cumulative 1986-2014)

University Total
University of California, Berkeley 127
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 83
University of California, Los Angeles 76
Harvard University 62
University of Texas, Austin 50
Stanford University 48
Yale University 47

Graduate Alumni Accomplishments

Awards Total
Nobel Prize winners 20
MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipients 39
National Medal of Science recipients 30

Graduate Alumni Satisfaction

Berkeley doctoral alumni, surveyed 5 to 45 years after graduation, report very high level of satisfaction with their graduate education and the value of their Ph.D.s:

  • 90% overall (and 85% of those who pursued non-academic careers) say they were well prepared for their careers by Berkeley
  • 95% overall (and 93% of those who pursued non-academic careers) would pursue a doctoral degree again
  • 86% would select the same field of study
  • 95% would choose graduate study at Berkeley if they could start again

The Berkeley Graduate Profile is produced by the Institutional Research and External Relations units in the Graduate Division (grad.berkeley.edu).

Additional Resources:

Graduate Student Enrollment

Among the 40,173 students at Berkeley, nearly 27% are pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees in more than 100 disciplines.

The fall 2016 incoming graduate class of 3,605 students was selected from among 39,730 applicants.

Term and Year Applications
Fall 2006 31,571
Fall 2016 39,730
Enrollment (Fall 2016) Doctoral Master’s Total
Overall 5,363 5,500 10,863
Incoming class 870 2,737 3,607
Applicant Age
Average 28
Youngest 17
Oldest 67
Women Underrepresented Minorities
46% 12%
Graph of Entering Class 2015
Ethnic Diversity Total
American Indian/Alaskan Native 70
Black/African-American 403
Chicano/Mexican-American 430
Chinese/Chinese-American 786
East Indian/Pakistani 350
Japanese/Japanese-American 112
Korean 169
Latino/Other Spanish-American 401
Other/Unknown 922
Pacific Islander 4
Pilipino/Filipino 117
Thai/Other Asian 209
Vietnamese 112
White/Caucasian 4,087
Total 8,172
International Graduate Students Doctoral Master’s Total
China 401 346 747
India 115 294 409
Canada 86 80 166
Korea 91 51 142
France 25 52 77
Taiwan 45 30 75
Germany 41 18 59
Chile 32 26 58
Mexico 24 34 58
Brazil 28 22 50
Iran 42 8 50
Japan 20 27 47
Singapore 21 23 44
United Kingdom 29 13 42
Turkey 26 15 41
Colombia 21 19 40
Thailand 24 14 38
Israel 27 9 36
Australia 18 15 33
Spain 15 13 28
Italy 19 8 27
Peru 12 13 25
68 other countries 179 220 399
Total 1,341 1,350 2,691

Graduate majors (Fall 2016 Enrollment)

Berkeley offers 101 graduate majors (master’s and doctoral), 93 of which grant doctoral degrees.

School/College Doctoral Master’s/
First Professional
Total
Business Administration 69 1,479.5 1,548.5
Chemistry 478 40 518
Education 216.5 103 319.5
Engineering 1,315.5 619 1,934.5
Environmental Design 78 299 377
Information 22.5 425 447.5
Journalism  – 103.5 103.5
Law 69 1,109 1,178
Letters & Science (all divisions) 2,531.5 70.5 2,602
Arts & Humanities 645 13 658
Biological Sciences 490.5 1 491.5
Mathematics & Physical Sciences 586 33 619
Social Sciences 810 23.5 833.5
Natural Resources 379 81.5 460.5
Optometry 38 284 322
Public Health 126 508.5 634.5
Public Policy 12 202 214
Social Welfare 26 175.5 201.5
Individualized Major 2 2
TOTAL 5,363 5,500 10,863

Degrees Granted

Degree Date 2004 – 05 2005 – 06 2006 – 07 2007 – 08 2008 – 09 2009 – 10 2010 – 11 2011 – 12 2012 – 13 2013 – 14 2014 – 15 2015 – 16
Doctoral 801 753 895 864 863 888 906 887 936 930 1,066 818
Master’s/Professional 2,390 2,337 2,351 2,406 2,385 2,397 2,481 2,506 2,552 2,045 2,764 3,084

Career Outcomes

Top 5 academic institutions that hire Berkeley Ph.D.s

  • University of California System
  • Stanford
  • University of Michigan
  • MIT
  • Harvard

Long-term employment trends

(Based on a survey of Ph.D. recipients who graduated between 1968 and 2008)

  • 57% of Berkeley doctoral alumni (and 78% arts and humanities Ph.D.s) work in 4-year academic institutions compared to 41.4% nation-wide
  • 23% work in the private for-proft sector
  • 13% work in the non-profit sector or for the state, local or national government
  • 7% are self-employed or have other employment

Career placement of doctoral degree recipients

First positions of students who graduated between 2009-010 to 2012-13 (based on a survey conducted 12-18 months after graduation).

Industry Count Percent
Business (for profit) 628 25.2%
College or university* 1,426 57.4%
Government 85 3.4%
Hospital/clinic 22 .8%
K-12 school 32 1.2%
National laboratory 115 4.6%
Self-employed 23 .9%
Other/unknown 153 6.1%
Total 2,484 100%

*First positions taken by Berkeley Ph.D.s who went into academia


Doctoral Alumni Placements by Program

Sources of financial support for graduate students (2015 – 2016)

Chart of Humanities Funding 2015 Chart of Sciences Funding 2015

An array of funding programs

Campuswide multi-year fellowships:

Berkeley offers several prestigious multi-year awards for the most highly qualified entering doctoral students, including:

  • Berkeley Graduate Fellowships (all fields)
  • Chancellor’s Fellowships and Cota Robles Fellowships (all fields; for applicants who will enhance the diversity of the graduate student population at Berkeley)
  • Mellon Graduate Student Excellence Fellowships (humanities and history)
  • Regents’ Fellowships (humanities and social sciences)
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowships (science and engineering)
Humanities/Social Sciences multi-year packages include:
  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 2 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary
  • 1 year of Doctoral Completion Fellowship from Graduate Division, including full fees plus stipend (contingent on timely progress to degree)

Sciences/Engineering multi-year packages include:

  • 2 years covered by Graduate Division (full fees plus stipend for the academic year and summer)
  • 3 years covered by department through a combination of fellowships, GSI (teaching) or GSR (research) appointments, including fees and a salary

These awards are offered to doctoral students of outstanding achievement and potential through a highly competitive selection process conducted by a campuswide faculty committee.

Other sources of graduate student support for entering and continuing students:

Departmental support packages:

Departmental packages may include funding from various sources, such as block grants, departmental fellowships, and GSI (teaching) and GSR (research) appointments.

Continuing students may also apply for fellowship support from the Graduate Division, including:

  • Mentored Research Awards
  • Summer Grants
  • UC Dissertation Awards
  • Conference Travel Grants
  • Parent Grants
  • Privately-sponsored fellowship programs